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Painted metal figurine of a horned Jewish man with hooves riding a pig

Object | Accession Number: 2016.184.206

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    Painted metal figurine of a horned Jewish man with hooves riding a pig

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    Brief Narrative
    Bronze figurine of a Jewish man reading a prayer book on the back of a pig, made in Austria during the 19th century. The figurine may be a Vienna bronze, a type of sculpture made in a Viennese handcraft tradition that incorporates artistic finishes. The style began in Austria in approximately 1850. The man has several stereotypical physical features commonly attributed to Jewish men: a large, hooked nose, bushy eyebrows, thick lips, sidelocks, and a beard. He also has horns, a stereotypical antisemitic physical feature, originally deriving from a mistranslation of the story of Moses in the Hebrew Bible. Horns have since been used to show Jew’s supposed evil nature and associate them with the devil. Lastly, the man has cloven hooves, similar to the pig he is on, and also reminiscent of how the devil and demons are depicted. Pigs are deemed “unclean” in the Book of Leviticus, and are well-known as a non-kosher animal, meaning they are not fit for consumption by Jews. Knowing of this prohibition, antisemites weaponized pigs for use against Jews. Pork products have been thrown into or at synagogues, and force-fed to Jews on pain of death. Jews have been called the descendants of apes and pigs and accused of associating with and worshiping pigs. The depiction of Jews with pig-like features or in close and often indecent contact with pigs is also a common antisemitic image. The figurine is one of the more than 900 items in the Katz Ehrenthal Collection of antisemitic artifacts and visual materials.
    manufacture:  approximately 1800-1899
    creation: Austria
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the Katz Family
    Compiler: Peter Ehrenthal
    The Katz Ehrenthal Collection is a collection of more than 900 objects depicting Jews and antisemitic and anti-Jewish propaganda from the medieval to the modern era, in Europe, Russia, and the United States. The collection was amassed by Peter Ehrenthal, a Romanian Holocaust survivor, to document the pervasive history of anti-Jewish hatred in Western art, politics and popular culture. It includes crude folk art as well as pieces created by Europe's finest craftsmen, prints and periodical illustrations, posters, paintings, decorative art, and toys and everyday household items decorated with depictions of stereotypical Jewish figures.

    Physical Details

    Decorative Arts
    Physical Description
    Painted cast metal figurine of a man with 2 black curved horns and cloven hooves straddling the back of a pink/white pig with sparse brown bristles. He is reading from an open, black book with gray pages held up before his face with both hands. His face is painted light brown and his huge, curved nose has a red tip. He has thick brown hair, sidelocks, mustache, and short beard, with thick black eyebrows, deepset black eyes, and thick, downturned lips. He wears a black cloak, brown shirt and breeches, white, gray striped stockings. The pig stands on all 4, light brown cloven hooves, staring ahead with large eyes and pinned back ears. Yellow metal shows through small chips in the paint.
    overall: Height: 4.750 inches (12.065 cm) | Width: 1.875 inches (4.763 cm) | Depth: 4.250 inches (10.795 cm)
    overall : metal, paint

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    No restrictions on access
    Conditions on Use
    No restrictions on use

    Keywords & Subjects

    Geographic Name

    Administrative Notes

    The figurine was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2016 by the Katz Family.
    Funding Note
    The cataloging of this artifact has been supported by a grant from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.
    Special Collection
    Katz Ehrenthal Collection
    Record last modified:
    2022-07-28 18:12:39
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